2018-12-30 – Psalm 118 – The Building Blocks of Joy
Bible Text: Psalm 118 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Joy | 2018-12-30 – Psalm 118 – The Building Blocks of Joy
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us.
Are you ready for the New Year? Anyone here planning on watching the football games? How about the Tournament of Roses Parade? I read about how one year a beautiful float broke down in middle of the long parade route. The whole parade was held up until someone finally fixed the problem. The float represented the Standard Oil Company, and even with its vast oil reserves, the truck unfortunately ran out of gas. I bet that was embarrassing, lol
I found a couple bible verses that maybe we could apply as the New Year:
Isaiah 43:18-19 Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I pray this New Year brings you new hope and joy that only comes through Jesus. As far as this church goes, we have seen much positive change in the past few months. My prayer is that momentum will continue, and we will be blessed with seeing many come to Christ in this friendly and beautiful Orion community.
Well If you haven’t guessed yet from the Hymns we sang this morning, the topic of todays message is about Joy. Last week we sang Joy to the World, and we talked about Christmas Joy. We all could use a little more joy this time of year I will argue. “I got Joy Joy Joy Joy down in my heart”. I hope this message today brings you much joy too, and that you share that joy with others as well.
Please turn now to Psalm 118, page 537 in your pew Bibles, which is the Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God. But first let us pray..
We are going to start out this morning with a Psalm from King David. This Psalm also fits as a New Year’s hopeful message in my opinion.
Listen now to the Word of God given through King David in Psalm 118
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.
Let Israel say, “His faithful love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His faithful love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His faithful love endures forever.”
I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and put me in a spacious place. The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?
The Lord is my helper, Therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humanity.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in nobles.
All the nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I destroyed them.
They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I destroyed them. They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I destroyed them.
They pushed me hard to make me fall, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
There are shouts of joy and victory, in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!
The Lord’s right hand is raised. The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!”
I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done
The Lord disciplined me severely but did not give me over to death.
Open the gates of righteousness for me; I will enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the Lord’s gate; the righteous will enter through it.
I will give thanks to you because you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This came from the Lord; it is wondrous in our sight.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Lord, save us! Lord, please grant us success! He who comes in the name of the Lord is blessed. From the house of the Lord we bless you.
The Lord is God and has given us light. Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks.
You are my God; I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever.
That is Psalm 118. For this message today we will concentrate specifically on verse 24 – “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”. The word rejoice finds its roots in the word Joy.
Joy. It is difficult to find at times. Even seems impossible for some. Especially when we have the stresses of problems, complaints, fights, and worries. I am going to gift you some Joy filled Bible verses in what follows, that might minister to your hearts and minds for the New Year ahead.
God offers us Real joy, solid joy and lasting joy. In 2nd Peter 1:3 it is written:
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”.
We need joy. And God gives joy. Say this with me: “There is joy for me”.
1st Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Question: When is the last time you truly Rejoiced?
Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
God in the Holy Spirit gives us His joy. And He commands us to be joyful.
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
People long for joy, but they are trying to find joy in so many places outside of God. Yes, they might find temporary happiness, but not long lasting, real joy.
I know that there are some here today, their souls are crying out to God, that they might find real and true Joy. “Change my heart, O God, I need Your joy”.
To those I offer this verse, Psalm 37:4 – “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires”. This is God’s truth. And if your heart’s desire is for joy, then ask God in prayer, and He will give it to you.
“Take delight” in Him, don’t look for it in the world, there isn’t any true lasting joy in what the world has to offer. We are to be in the world not of the world.
Matthew 6:19 says, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Where is your treasure this morning? Do you need a map to find it? Are you ready to dig a little for that treasure? Let us dig more into God Words.
Psalm 119:162 – I rejoice over your promises like one who finds vast treasure.
The treasure of God, the joy he has to offer is in His word. His promises.
John 15:11 – I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
We need to dig deep brothers and sisters, commit your heart to receiving God’s treasure trove of joy. And again, the best place to start is in God’s Holy Word.
Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear your name, Lord God of Armies.
Psalm 119:14 – I rejoice in the way revealed by your decrees as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and think about your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Psalm 119:47- I delight in your commands, which I love. I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and will meditate on your statutes.
Meditate means much more than just reading dear brothers and sisters. We need to contemplate, consider, deliberate and reflect upon God’s Holy Word. It is the true and only path to God’s treasure of joy indeed.
Psalm 119:111 – I have your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
Are God’s words the joy of your heart? Or are you satisfied with something less?
Again, Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. The words “Let us” is a plea, or a request. Again, have you pleaded for and asked God for joy lately?
Psalm 51:10 [David said] God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
John 16:24 – [Jesus said] Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
Complete joy brothers and sisters, through prayer, according to the scripture.
Ask God to reveal His path for your joy: Psalm 16:11 – You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.
Again this is a prescription for us today, and it says, in God’s presence is abundant joy. Are you living with God? Do you feel God’s presence? So many people these days feel they don’t have time for God in their busy and chaotic daily lives. However, if you want to find joy, don’t forsake spending time with Him. Read and meditate on His Holy Word. It will change your life for the good.
A man called Job in the Old Testament was a man who knew very well the troubles and travesties of life. In Job 33:26 it says, “He will pray to God, and God will delight in him. That person will see his face with a shout of joy, and God will restore his righteousness to him”.
And that is exactly what happened to Job. He prayed and his joy was restored.
God is a God of abundant joy, real joy, eternal joy for you and for me.
But attaining that Joy is really based on the choices we make. A choice to pray,
or not. A choice to read His Holy Word, or not. And a choice to spend time with God, or not. The best way for us to move beyond the circumstances we face in this challenging life, is we must choose His joy. And choose to follow God and His perfect and holy will.
And in doing so we will also bring Joy to God our father in heaven. If you are a parent like me, you know how much joy it brings us when our children are joyous. God wants you to have joy, and His joy is complete when you are joyous.
In our world today, joy is truly much needed. The world is really seeking out joy, but sadly they don’t know where to find it. You are an instrument of God’s joy.
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
As a Christian, that is our purpose, we should be reflecting God’s light and joy.
So Let your light, your hope, your love, and your joy shine before men. Be God’s light onto the world. Go tell the people. Talk to them. Share with them. I promise you in that you too will be blessed with His joy as a result, and you will be even be bringing joy into heaven. Luke 15:10 says, “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Isn’t that awesome!
We believe that Jesus gave Himself up on the cross at Calvary to serve as our blessed Messiah Savior. He is now the source of our joy. We need a Savior because we realize we cannot get to heaven on our own accord. You see, to enter the gates of heaven, you must be without sin. Heaven is a perfect place, and anyone who enters into heaven must be perfect. I know I am a sinner, and I need forgiveness. My sins must be paid for before I can enter into heaven. Therefore God sent His one and only Son Jesus, to die on the cross, to pay for my sin. Jesus was the only person throughout all history that was without sin. He was the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God. And because He paid my penalty, I can now have fellowship with him in heaven for all of eternity. It is because of this, that I can now have much joy, and so can you. Choose today to follow Jesus Christ. The Savior that was born to bring true Joy to the World.
In conclusion I will suggest that there are many people today, even in this church that are Christian, but they fail to stay engaged and stay plugged into God’s joy. Just like that Rose Bowl parade float, they have virtually an unlimited capacity for the fuel of joy in Father God, yet they break down in the middle of the parade. God doesn’t want that for you. He wants you to be the shining light of His joy to the world. So be reading your Bibles, stay in fellowship with the church family and pray together, and be on mission with each other for God’s purposes and glory. That is God’s will for you today brothers and sisters. Then you can say with the Apostle Paul despite your circumstances, “I count it all joy”, “I count it all, joy indeed.
Let us pray..